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LAS CRUCES – The man suspected in Sunday’s hostage situation at a pistachio farm near Alamogordo is now facing numerous criminal charges.
New Mexico State Police announced Monday that the suspect, 21-year-old Kaleb Scroggins, of Alamogordo, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, shooting at an occupied building, breaking and entering, aggravated fleeing law enforcement and criminal damage to property.
Authorities rescued 14 hostages, including a 3-year-old child, after an hours-long standoff between police and Scroggins at McGinn's Pistachio farm, 7320 Highway 54/70, in Alamogordo.
Before the hostage situation, Scroggins had been wanted by the Alamogordo Police Department in connection to shooting that had occurred earlier in the day.
Alamogordo police learned of Scroggins’ whereabouts through a tip and subsequently located his vehicle in the Otero County limits. Officers then initiated a vehicle pursuit.
Police said Scroggins attempted to evade officers, and while traveling west on Dog Ranch Road, he failed to yield to northbound traffic on U.S. 70/54 and his vehicle was “T-boned” by another vehicle.
Following the crash, an exchange of gunfire took place, police said, and Scroggins ran into the McGinn's store, where he took 14 hostages.
New Mexico State Police, called in city and county authorities to assist, secured a perimeter of the building, while crisis negotiators and the Otero County undersheriff attempted talk to Scroggins.
During the course of the talks, the negotiators were able to successfully rescue all the hostages unharmed. Scroggins peacefully surrendered a short time thereafter, and was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and cleared for arrest.
Scroggins was booked into Otero County Detention Center without further incident.